“You’ve Come A Long Way, Baby


The Writer’s Hole, “You’ve come a long way, Baby” Blogfest is today. Click over and help Christine celebrate by showing everyone how much you’ve progressed as a writer. As an educator I’m all about assessing growth in my students but as a writer I just cruise along assuming the growth is happening as an organic part of the process. I guess this is one way to find out.

From my 2007 version of On the Run, my YA novel:

Mayo’s eyes met Toad’s and both boys watched the door as the scratching of the locks continued. He moved in front of Toad without really thinking about it, just watching the door as it swung wide.

Expecting Emerson or one of his henchmen, Mayo was surprised to see an angry looking guy about their age. Behind him stood a much shorter dude, probably 5’10”, with sandy blonde hair and chiseled looks. Something about him was familiar but he wasn’t sure why.

The big guy stayed close to the door shooting them dirty looks while the smaller guy cut through the plastic cuffs on Mayo’s hands and ankles then moved over to Toad.

“Look, we have a really small window of opportunity here. I know you have questions but we need to hold them until we’re safely out of here. Got it?”

Wow. I actually cringed at parts of that. From this year:

Mayo’s eyes met Toad’s. The scratching on the door locks begun seconds ago paused and then began again. Mayo stepped in front of Toad without really thinking about it. He watched as the door swung wide.

Expecting Emerson or one of his henchmen, he was surprised to see an angry looking guy about their age. Behind him stood a much shorter dude, probably 5’10”, with sandy blonde hair and chiseled looks. Something about him was familiar, but Mayo wasn’t sure what.

The big guy stayed close to the door shooting them “looks” while the smaller guy took point. “We have a small window of opportunity. Hold your questions until we’re safely out of here. Got it?” He kept his voice low.

The changes here were so small and yet, they made a big difference in the pace and tone. This is why I love revision. It is a lot like when you move from using the rough sandpaper when working with a piece of wood to using the fine. It’s all in the fine details.

You try it now. How much or in what ways have you improved your writing over the years? If you decide to participate this Blogfest, please leave something in the comments below so I can click over to your blog.

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1 Comment

Filed under Writing

One response to ““You’ve Come A Long Way, Baby

  1. I remember that first draft. The guys are much more fleshed out now.

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